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27 September 2019 News
Sandra Duguid, our Dunbar based property manager, offers advice for sellers looking to increase their chance of selling their home in the forthcoming months.   •    Consider an autumnal scene – warm tones and colours can help your home reflect the season. Ensure your home is warm, cosy and colourful.  If you want to do this on budget, why not invest in a new rug or fluffy cushions in autumnal colours.  If you have a wood burner or multi-fuel stove, ensure this is given prominence in the photos, and for viewings. •    Concentrate on lighting - ideally viewings should be conducted during the day, to maximise…
20 September 2019 News
Succession planning can be challenging, particularly with the increase in the number of stepfamilies. According to the Scottish Law Commission, it is estimated that one in eight children are now part of a stepfamily and over half of all families in the UK are stepfamilies. A question which has been debated is whether or not step children should have the same inheritance rights afforded by law to that of biological or adopted children. At present, a surviving spouse and children have the right to make statutory claims against a deceased person’s estate. Crucially, this only includes biological or adopted children. Step-children, though they may be just…
13 September 2019 News
When a couple separates, there are a number of things that require to be agreed – from financial matters and the division of matrimonial assets, to the care and residence of any children. Whilst many parents choose to enter into a shared care arrangement where they share the residence of the children, commonly the children will have their residence with one parent, and have agreed residential and non-residential contact with the other parent. Child aliment (commonly referred to as “child maintenance”) is regular financial support from the non-residential parent to the residential parent to help towards the child’s everyday living costs.  In most cases, this level…
06 September 2019 News
Helping clients reach an agreement about the fair division of matrimonial property on divorce or dissolution can be a complex matter and the value of the parties’ pension savings can often be the biggest asset after the family home.  There are several options available regarding the splitting of pension savings and it is important to consider all of these options before deciding what is best for you.  Parties should start by valuing their respective interests.  The cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) of any pension interests as at the separation date is required.  The CETV requires to take into account the period of marriage only and therefore…
30 August 2019 News
The ESPC have just published their House Price Report for July 2019 and the key points of interest are as undernoted:-   •    In Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders, the average selling price from May 2019 until July 2019 was £256,730, an increase of 4.1% from the previous year. In East Lothian the average selling price (£248,729) increased by 6.7% year-on-year, and in Midlothian the average selling price rose by 4.7% •    During the last three months, the total sales volume in these areas rose by 8.2% year on year. This is due to the rising volume of properties coming to the market at…
23 August 2019 News
Generally, we are an extremely charitable bunch.  Over the last year, it is understood that the British public gave nearly £10 billion to their favourite charities with a significant part of those donations being legacies left in a Will.  Leaving money to charity has never been more popular, with the majority of us gifting to charity each year whether through regular monthly contributions, one off contributions or leaving legacies on our death.  Last year almost £3 billion of donations were made through “legacy income” making it the largest single source of income to the charitable sector and vital to the ongoing success of many individual charities…
16 August 2019 News
To understand whether Land and Building Transaction Tax is payable on a purchase of a derelict building, one first needs to understand the definition of “residential property”.  This is described in the Land and Building Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act 2013 as:- a.    A building that is used, or suitable for use, as a dwelling, or is in the process of being        constructed, or adapted, for such use. b.    Land that is, or forms part of, the garden grounds of a residential building and c.    An interest in, or right over, land that subsists for the benefit of a residential building. Residential property transactions, generally speaking…
09 August 2019 News
In your Will, you can appoint one or more people to act as executor to your estate following your death. This is one of the most important choices that you will make as your executors are the people who will ensure that your wishes are fulfilled in relation to the distribution of your estate.  Choosing someone that you trust to carry out this role is crucial, and this can be a family member or a friend, but it can also be useful to have someone independent act as executor especially if your assets are more complex and include business interests. In this case you can ask…
02 August 2019 News
Care Fees When the decision is made to move into residential care, you may be expected to contribute towards the cost, both from your income such as your state pension and from your capital.  Before you can receive any financial assistance from your relevant Local Authority, that Local Authority will need to carry out a care needs assessment and establish whether you qualify for the non-means-tested free personal and nursing care payment.  They will also carry out a means tested financial assessment to work out how much financial help you qualify for and how much you should pay towards your Care Home fees. If your capital…
26 July 2019 News
Located in a modern well-established residential estate, 55 Muirfield Road is a striking 6 bedroom detached villa which is complemented by a large west facing garden with decking. Worth a special mention is the stunning kitchen/dining room which has been fitted with contemporary units with solid oak worktops and Rangemaster cooker. The property also boasts a conservatory with doors to the rear garden. If you are looking to relocate to East Lothian and are wishing to find a home with accommodation for an elderly relative, student or if you are considering setting up an Air B'n'B , this property would be ideal as there is a…

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North Berwick - 01620 892138
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